BLOG TOUR | Flame In the Mist - Learn Some Japanese + Giveaway!

Title: Flame In the Mist
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Pages: 368 pages
Release Date: May 16th, 2017
Source: ARC from PenguinTeen
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Rating: 3/5 stars
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor's favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family's standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she's quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she's ever known.

Buy it now! 
Welcome to today's tour stop for Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh. As a third-year Japanese student, I was so excited at the possibility of a book that takes place in feudal Japan inspired by the character and story of Mulan. I've been taking a course in the Japanese language in my school for the past three years of high school. I'm really lucky to have a teacher that is as passionate to teach the language as I am to learn it. Kawamoto-sensei often brings objects and candy back from Japan on vacations to share with us.

Although it has proved to be quite a challenging course, I do enjoy learning and speaking the language. I think the best part is writing the characters though because some are very similar to Chinese characters. For today's post I'm going to share a little bit from my knowledge of learning Japanese for the past three years. Now keep in mind that I'm not a native speaker but the first thing I learned was the hiragana system of Japanese writing. 

There are three Japanese systems of writing: hiragana, katakana and kanji. The names in Ahdieh's book are in romaji, which is a representation of Japanese sounds using the English alphabet.

I will be teaching you how to write the names in the book in hiragana characters. I'm not 100% sure if the author intended her names to be in romaji but that's what it seems like. Traditional Japanese names are usually written in kanji, but I won't be writing it in kanji for today because those characters are really complicated and there are many kanji that could represent the same hiragana.

This is a hiragana chart! These sounds represent a different character. You can use these sounds to create a word. For example the word tachi (which means long sword) is composed of the two separate syllables ta and chi. You could look on the hiragana chart and look for which Japanese hiragana characters represent the worlds ta and chi. Let's see! 

We found them! Now put them together!

Let's try with some of the character names! 

TIP: Feel free to try writing some of the other words in the book in hiragana! It's not hard once you remember the hiragana chart. With good study habits and dedication, you'll be writing sentences in no time! In my opinion, out of the three Japanese writing systems I find that hiragana is the easiest. My Japanese teacher started teaching me with hiragana, so as a tip I'd say to start with learning this before you jump to remembering words and definitions. 


Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (ARV: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 8, 2017 and 12:00 AM on June 5, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 10, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Renée Ahdieh 

Renée Ahdieh is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog.

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  1. Such a neat post (and still very intimidating to me, since I only know one language). This book sounds awesome. Thanks for hosting! :)

    1. The first language I learned other than English was Spanish and that was so hard for me! I grew up hearing Chinese so I thought learning Japanese was going to be easy. I was wrong. But definitely ik how you feel :D

  2. Hello nice post! One correction though. I believe Ms. Ahdieh meant the meaning of "wolf" with Okami. In that case it's おおかみ or more commonly オオカミ in katakana. In romanji the double vowels are often shortened. (Example Osaka vs おおさか, which is literally Oosaka). It might seem trivial, but the meaning is completely different between okami and ookami. So glad you are interested in Japanese language! Keep learning!

    1. Not trivial at all! Chinese is the same thing where similar words mean totally different things, so I completely understand. Thanks for correcting me though!

  3. This was truly amazing! I really want to learn Japanese now! :)

    1. Japanese is a great language to learn and the culture is really fascinating. Hope you do decide to in the future.

  4. My brother learned Japanese, too! I've always been interested in learning. It is such a beautiful language. But, I think I'm going to try learning it myself since learning it in school will make me nervous for I'm not a big fan of grades.

    1. I'm not a big fan of grades either, and I totally agree that the grades have made me more pressured to learn it. On the other hand though I wouldn't trust myself to learn it because I would never be focused.

  5. I need me some fantasy books rn and I can't wait to read this! I love your review. ;) Coooool!

  6. Love this post, it's cool to get a look at the Japanese culture!

  7. Thanks for the Japanese lesson. Good luck with your studies. I am really excited to read Flame in the Mist.

  8. I hope to visit Japan one day, especially during the Cherry Blossom festival! :D Plus, I would love to learn more about the culture and the language.

  9. This is such a cool and creative post. It's so awesome learning about different culutres and languages. I've taken Mandrian for almost 5 years, and it's cool how Mandrian and Japanese share some of the same characters and both use different sounds to represent characters. I'm looking forward to reading this book!!

    I'm new to blogging and book reviewing, and I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I'd love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.


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